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Opinion

Kashmir is not on the agenda of the OIC foreign ministers meeting

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The Kashmir issue is not on the agenda of a meeting of foreign ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to be held in Niger from November 27 to 28, prompting consternation in Pakistan, which has repeatedly sought to raise the matter internationally. forums.

A statement issued by Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday to announce Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s participation in the OIC Foreign Ministers Council meeting stated that the two-day session will discuss a number of of problems facing the Muslim world, including the issue “Jammu and Kashmir dispute”.

However, official statements issued by the OIC in English and Arabic do not mention that the issue of Kashmir is on the meeting’s agenda.

The Pakistani Foreign Ministry statement further said that Qureshi intended to highlight the “aggravation of the humanitarian and human rights situation” in Jammu and Kashmir following India’s decision to remove the special status of the former state in August 2019.

The official statements of the OCI quoted the general secretary of the organization, Yousef Al-Othaimeen, saying that the meeting of the foreign ministers, which is held with the theme “United against terrorism for peace and development”, has an agenda that includes “topics and matters of interest to the Muslim world”.

“In addition to the Palestinian cause, the fight against violence, extremism and terrorism, Islamophobia and defamation of religious, the Council will discuss the situation of Muslim minorities and communities in non-member states, raising funds for the Rohingya cause. in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), as well as the promotion of dialogue between civilizations, cultures and religions, and other emerging issues, ”said the statement in English, without making any reference to the issue of Kashmir.

The statement in Arabic was also silent on the Kashmir issue.

The development comes at a time when Pakistan’s relations with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), both key players in the 56-member OIC, are strained.

Saudi Arabia has sought early repayment of a $ 3 billion loan made to the Imran Khan government in 2018 after it was upset by Islamabad’s criticism of Riyadh’s position on the Kashmir issue. After being shunned by Saudi leaders on the Kashmir issue, Prime Minister Imran Khan had made an unsuccessful attempt to forge a new grouping of Islamic countries with Turkey and Malaysia.

On Wednesday, the United Arab Emirates temporarily suspended the issuance of visas to citizens of Pakistan, Afghanistan and some other countries for security reasons. The UAE has also been cold on Pakistan’s proposals on the Kashmir issue.

The government of India has worked to strengthen ties with West Asian countries, a major source of energy and home to some nine million expatriates, in recent years. In 2019, Pakistan was upset when former Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj was invited as a guest of honor to address the plenary session of the OIC Foreign Ministers Meeting.

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